Qatar outperformed the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region in the projects market as Doha saw a 36% year-on-year growth in projects awarded in third quarter (Q3) of 2020 against a 67% plunge in the region, according to Kamco Invest.
The double-digit expansion in Doha’s project awards, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, indicates the growing potential for the private sector, especially in the construction and transport sectors, which made up 90% of the new contracts awarded during Q3-20.
The sectors are also expected to contribute more to the country’s non-hydrocarbon gross domestic product (GDP) as necessary legislation has been put in place for the public private partnerships (PPP) and considering the new property law, which is advantageous to both foreign investors and to expatriate residents in Qatar.
Total value of new contracts awarded by Qatar shot up 35.6% year-on-year to $3.4bn during Q3, 2020; revalidating Qatar’s strong macroeconomic growth potential in 2021 and beyond. The country’s projects market constituted about 26% of the total in the Gulf region.
Finding that Qatar’s construction and transport sectors constituted over 90% of the new projects awarded during Q3 this year, Kamco Invest said some of the new contracts that headlined the jump in new projects during this period Public Works Authority’s (Ashghal) awarding of nine new road and infrastructure contracts valued around $981mn to local companies.
According to the explanatory note attached with the 2021 general budget, the Ministry of Finance highlighted that the infrastructure has been developed in the existing areas corresponding to the population density with expanded sewage networks, rain water drainage, pedestrian and bicycle paths, and car parks (New Salata; Bani Hajer; Al Sailiya).
The other achievements this year included the opening of the 13 km first phase of the Sabah Al-Ahmad Corridor; the opening of The Pearl Tunnels, Lusail Expressway and the completion of the highway network project; the completion of Olympic track on the Al Khor Cycling Road, which is 33 km long, with five air bridges and 29 bicycle tunnels, and tree planting at pedestrian paths along the track.
Elsewhere in the Gulf region, the Kamco Invest report said total value of the GCC contracts awarded during Q3-20 declined by two-thirds year-on-year to $13.2bn.
In the GCC, the double whammy of Covid-19 impact on economic growth and the impact of low oil prices on revenues and project spending shows record deficits.
“This has resulted in stunted growth in the GCC project market that continues to reel under spending shortfall,” Kamco Invest said.
The economic pressure was also reflected in the International Monetary Fund’s GDP forecast for the GCC region which is now slated to contract by 6% in 2020 in a broad-based decline across the region.
The report also found that a new wave of rising Covid-19 cases in many parts of the world has alarmed governments, resulting in stricter restrictions and lockdowns in several cities across Europe and the US.
The fact that the pandemic is still not over, despite the development of vaccines has “cast a shadow of doubt” on near term economic development, the report said, adding the governments in the US and Europe have announced or are in the process of announcing economic stimulus to boost growth resulting in mounting budget deficits.

Last updated: December 25 2020 07:12 PM